Foxtel wins our award for most unsurprising press release of late April: yesterday’s sixth season premiere of Game of Thrones was the most watched program in Australian television history, toppling the previous season’s audience figures — where are all these new viewers coming from? — and even beating a sport for overall popularity.
News from Foxtel, just in: “Episode 1 achieved a total audience of 727,000, 31 per cent larger than season 5, claiming the biggest single day audience in Australian subscription television history — and topping the record previously held by Fox Sports, with the 2011 Rugby World Cup Semi Final between Australia and New Zealand (on 16 October 2011, with 719,000 overnight audience).”
Those figures are impressive moreso because they don’t include the presumably thousands of viewers that watched the show on catch-up via Foxtel Play or iQ recordings. With those taken into account in Foxtel’s upcoming weekly figure, it’s forecasting a viewer figure of well over a million.
That’s pretty crazy — one in every 24 Australians sitting down to watch Game of Thrones in one day, despite that day being Anzac Day and being a lovely sunny day in both Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two densest population centres.